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Donald Teskey

Paris Journal

15 Sept - 29 Oct 2022

Oliver Sears Gallery is pleased to present of an exhibition of paintings by Limerick born artist, Donald Teskey.

At the beginning of 2012, Teskey found himself on a three-month residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. While perhaps best known for his Irish land and seascapes which communicate not just the colour, sound and movement of nature but its weight as a measurement of history, Teskey is also an accomplished recorder of streetscapes, city buildings and rural edifices. So, the technical demand of painting Paris was not novel to the artist. The art historical burden of depicting the city of lights was a much greater task. 

The capital of the art world until 1945, a term not coined until 1962 by the American philosopher, Arthur C Danto, was itself portrayed by some of the great masters of impressionism and modernism. What to do about Monet, Pisarro, Caillebotte, Renoir, Van Gogh and Utrillo? The answer lies in the paintings that Teskey has produced, acrylic on paper en plein air. 

Observing winter turn to spring, Teskey’s first images are snow filled. He describes how the snow, ‘was a gift, absorbing sound and leaching predictable colour into the muted tones of reflected greys’. And gradually images appear with budding trees, glinting light on the river and heightened colour. There are very few people in the scenes that Teskey captures, and even then, they are roughly hewn shapes. The human dimension is communicated through the interaction between the man-made and the natural elements that weave through the architecture.


The artist successfully honours the Gods of late 19th Century Paris paintings while reflecting his own intimate understanding of how to paint the world he sees. Remarkably, void of iconic buildings and the myriad tourists who flock to them, these twelve small scale works show Paris as a quiet place of contemplation.


Donald Teskey was born in Co. Limerick and graduated from Limerick College of Art and Design with a Diploma in Fine Art in 1978. Since 1992 Teskey has created a substantial body of work as a painter of land and seascape, the ruggedness of the western seaboard a central focus in recent years. These images, occasionally on a very large scale, reflect his response to the formal elements of composition; shape, form and how light falls. Architectural in their origins, images from all over the world and in Ireland are easily identifiable and actively transport the viewer to a familiar place. Combining large abstract passages and surfaces to articulate the elemental force of nature in his seascapes and the man-made structures in his urban landscapes, Teskey always makes reference to the human relationship to both the natural and constructed worlds that we inhabit.

Teskey’s work has been exhibited in the UK, USA, Canada, China, Germany, France, Finland and South Africa.  His work can be found in various collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City Art Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy, CAFA Beijing,  Burns Library, Boston College, Yale University Art Gallery CT, as well as corporate and private collections worldwide.






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